JC Penney announced on Monday that it is planning on cutting 360 jobs from its stores and corporate headquarters. These are additional cuts on top of the 5,000 layoffs it had last year, and after it closed down 140 stores in 2017. This comes after the retail giant missed analyst forecast following a lackluster opening to 2018. Sales have been dropping for not just JC Penney, but other traditional retailers too. L Brands, like Bath and Body Works and Victoria’s Secret dropped 14%. Nordstrom, which has a deal in place to go private, dropped 6%. And Footlocker stock tanked 7% on Friday. Many companies have been struggling with the changing habits of consumers, and many won’t be able to survive this shift, as we are currently seeing today.
The sales are still there. Consumers continue to buy; many times, at rates much higher than previous years. The only problem is that they are buying online rather than at the mall. The biggest player in the Market right now is Amazon, who has taken advantage of this opportunity and become a worldwide tech giant. It was able to grow with the changing habits of customers. This year alone, it is already up 25%. But some traditional retailers are changing as well. Macy’s has put many of its resources into expanding it online operations. Last week it announced that it topped analyst forecasts, and that online sales have been a significant contributor to their success, with online sales growth in the double digits. BestBuy has also seen success in the digital era. Its stock rose by 4% following strong sales in its stores and on its digital platforms. Companies that will survive will be the ones that change. Even with small businesses, business owners must be ready to change with the customers habits. Just because something worked before, does not mean that it will continue to work in the future. Business owners that are flexible and open to change, will be the ones that stay relevant and, in the end, continue to thrive and grow.